In the space of only a few months, I have accrued well over five thousand Twitter followers. To be honest, I probably could have gathered another five thousand in that time, but the work on my upcoming book would have suffered (even more than it already has this summer). So, what’s my strategy? I followed all the advice of a good friend of mine who knows about Twitter. (And blogging, and writing . . . and a bunch of other neat stuff, too. You can follow his blog here: DanAlatorre.com.) YOU may be happy to hear that he and his authorey friend Allison Maruska are compiling all you need to know about building a successful author platform into a new book. Stay tuned. I will definitely have a blog post outlining my success with their strategies when the time comes.
That’s how I managed to build my Twitter following so quickly. Without revealing any of Dan and Allison’s trusted Twitter tactics and ruining the spoils of their upcoming book, I would like to address what I have learned about the social media phenomena that’s all about contracting whatever you want to say into 140 characters or less. And, that can be summed up in 35: Some Twitter peeps are . . . crazy.
Here are a few Twitter truths I’ve come across.
- If you decide to shoot out a single automated message to new followers, beware of the self-appointed Twitter Police. People will yell at you. People will send you links to blogs that will yell at you. My truth is that my (one) automated DM to new followers has connected me with over three hundred aspiring and successful authors on Facebook and blogs that I might not have come in contact with, without the aid of my “impersonal” DM. So there. Unfriend me if you want. This isn’t high school. I’m not offended.
- Porn is everywhere. And, porn posters are tricksters. Sure, their blurb says they’re aspiring novelists *gasp* just like you, and then one day you’re scrolling through your feed and BLAMO, you see their clip of some naughty lady doing very bad things to get out of a speeding ticket.
- People sometimes assume that because they followed you, you should follow them back. Sometimes these people get incredibly angry when you don’t. Let me be clear, I am NOT on #teamfollowback. I follow people who have interests similar to mine, and a handful of news and science accounts. I do not follow the accounts of realtor blowhards who call me a c*^t when I don’t follow them back, or people who can’t stop tweeting pictures of boobies. Um, I have those? I know what they look like.
- If you are a woman, men will hit on you. Do yourself a favor. Block them immediately. I learned this the hard way. Trust me, you don’t want to stumble across a DM featuring their unit in all its lacking naked glory.
- There are a freaking ton of Harry Potter fans on Twitter. Seriously. It’s in every second bio. I’m starting to believe there are more Harry Potter fans on Twitter than Christians, sexual deviants, and self-appointed Twitter Police combined.
- I am physically incapable of constructing an awesome Twitter bio. I’ve tried. I’ve stared at the blinking curser on my computer screen for sheer minutes, trying to think of one, but came up blank. Turns out, EVERYBODY ELSE is great at reeling them out. Want proof? Check out these awesome bios from a page I looked up on how to make one. (Yes, I wanted one that bad. #fail.)
- I’m 25% mom 25% comedian 62% boobs 48% mathematician and 100% woman-monkey.
- If you follow me, all of your dreams will come true. I also know the difference between your and you’re but I won’t lord it over you.
- The only thing stopping me from being pure white trash is my lack of motivation.
- Don’t you just hate it when a sentence doesn’t end the way you octopus.
- Bald. Unreliable. Easily distracte
- You can follow me if you feel like it. You can also put peanut butter in your butthole, if you feel like it.
- I always feel sad for seedless watermelons, because what if they wanted babies?
Taking the plunge into the Twittersphere has been an admittedly strange and (mostly) enjoyable ride. Before you jump in, know exactly what you’re getting into. Just like in real life people can be pretty crazy, and sometimes even a little more crazy as they cast their superior judgments from behind the security of their computer screens. Some people may yell at you for your DMs. Some might ask you to help them learn English. Some may follow that up with a query as to your Social Insurance Number . . . and general banking information. And, some people may show you their penis.